October 21, 2004                                         

[Thanks BZC] Los Angeles

Eddie is performing “work in progress” gigs at the LA Comedy store for 3 nights this week. I had the great fortune to attend the first two evenings. The Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood has great history with many famous performers having performed on the stage. I didn’t catch what year it actually opened, but it was originally called Ciros, and then in 1978 I believe the name was changed to its current title. Some of the greats that have performed there include Benny Goodman, Richard Pryor, Dennis Miller, Robin Williams, David Letterman, and Whoopi Goldberg, but also dozens and dozens and dozens of other performers. Now Eddie Izzard’s name will also grace its walls and space. The Main Room where Eddie is performing holds about 350 people, so it’s a great intimate space for a comedy show with seating at tables and booths on three sides of the stage. And libations flow.....doesn’t get any better.

First thing I have to say is that Eddie in blokey mode for his comedy gigs was pretty great at these shows for it gave Eddie more freedom of movement, and that man was all over the stage jumping, dancing, bending, twisting, and doing his floating pirouette as a jellyfish, an incredible expenditure of energy for 90 minutes. Great fun. His material covered old bits, new ideas, and new tangents added onto old bits. Some of the older material he covered was phaser settings (fun stun), horse whispers, Darth(“Garth”)Vader and the Death Star Canteen(“You don’t know how close to the wind you are”), spiders, Margaret Thatcher, and the Queen, flies(“shit hits the fan”,
“I’m the scat man”), bees(whistling plasterers with disappearing honeycomb walls), and wasps, Americans overuse of “woo” and wondering if when we are at our place of work if we’re walking around or typing and saying “woo”, and the Olympics(instead of summer and winter Olympics, why not cold snap Olympics with face pressed against windows on rainy days competition), and the Koran reading after 9/11(including increased use of gas masks). Some of Eddie’s new routines for me included opera singers, Michael Jackson’s baby dangling, astronauts projected hairstyles, the evolution of rock stars and their microphone stands(very funny), God’s plan(perfection!), sharks(Eddie’s become a shark consultant), jellyfish(Eddie floating around the stage like a jellyfish in water, fantastic mime), Darwin’s Beagle ship and Beagle 2 on Mars, Buddha(“grand master flash”, the big red guy), chicken and tiger whisperers, immigrants coming to Ellis Island, story of bloke in pub shooting his testicles off with his own sawed off shotgun, wizard envy, getting in and out of stage curtains effectively, malaria victims always depicted as thin and British in movies, King Herod and killing of the 1st born, Gene Hackman reference from
the movie The Conversation, and more scribbling of my notes that I can’t decipher.

Eddie with his avid interest in politics, also spoke briefly about the current status of the EU(recently bringing in another 10 European countries, but still boring, needing a war to spice things up), and George Bush calling the internet, the “internets”, and then commenting in a few weeks on election day in the US, we need to make the right choice, and only we can do it, while the ROW (rest of world) watches (side note here - I would just imagine that EI spends a lot of time viewing the US tube right now when he can, closely following this presidential race).

One of my favorite funny moments of one evening was Eddie speaking about the curling event in the Olympics and his statement of “Call me an old Nancy, but I just don’t know why they do all the sweeping when they can just throw the stone harder”. I always cherish Eddie’s personal anecdotes the most and he covered a new one each evening. On Wednesday, Eddie was commenting how when he was younger, his dad often told him to “get a grip boy”. Eddie said this several times, a few times with a British cowboy twang, “get a grip boy”. Quite funny. Last
night Eddie spoke of riding horses or ponies as a kid in a black bubble hat and yellow jumper and looking like a dickhead. Then a few years ago on the Blueberry set, having to take off at a full gallop on a horse with Michael Madsen on another horse next to him. Eddie was commenting how when he first met Michael, he was scared of him during those initial scenes together on Blueberry but now they’ve become good friends.....this is what I so love about Eddie, his honest openness in his own human condition, a connection we all share. That kind of vulnerability displays such sheer unconscious courage, an area that few would ever dare to admit, let alone
live. These kind of moments are what continue to draw me to Eddie and keep him entrenched in my psyche.

So this finishes a brief synopsis of my time in LA in Eddie’s world. It’s always fun to observe the energy levels at shows, the crowd response to Eddie each night, Eddie’s response and handling of the crowd and hecklers, and the venues Eddie plays in. I’ve seen Eddie in quite a number of venues over the last several years, and I have enjoyed them all. But the Comedy Store was an exception. I actually enjoyed the layout of the venue itself, and a very special thanks to Tommy there, who is such a nice, helpful person, so full of historic information about the place
and totally into his job and people, and was so pleasant and informative on the telephone a few weekends past when we were all frantically purchasing tickets. That was all great. What wasn’t great was the blatant discrimination we experienced when being seated for the show the first night. The air was thick with elitism. Pathetic and difficult to observe.....thumbs down to the Comedy Store on that account.

Don’t lose your soul in Hollywood Eddie....rare souls are hard to find. Thanks for the opportunity of seeing you live again.

September 22, 2004                                         

[Thanks Eurotrash] Hamlet: The Prequel.....eddie in soho, 22 sept 04

On a bald stage reminiscent of the inside of your eyelids Eddie and his breasts entertained for 90minutes without an interval. Something wierd was going on with the lights as they made it look like he was 3 ft tall. They also heated his fizzy water fit to crown a Grand Prix winner...so he started by wiping the floor. Or was it pole dancing which got the show going? He was sparky, lively, working it, dogmatic in places laying down the start of something you imagined would blossom in a few weeks. He had his themes and the mimes are back! Noises too, but he always had them.

At the start he mentioned the role of expectation in a show. Given the version of Circle (audience silence for the first half. seriously; silence) and Sexie I saw, I had no expectations of his latest musings. It was great fun. It isnt inspired but I got the sense that it, whatever it is, was back and the tangents will lead us into adoration again. Or if not adoration, because, frankly, he needs to sort those shoes out and the jeans!.....WASH THEM!.....so if not that, then applause.

(His highlights were great)

(Wasn't that the girl with a face like a chisel from *Smack the Pony* in the audience? )

(Water would bead on his manicure it was that glossy)

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